Andrew Watson was fined £60 after sitting in a busy KFC drive-thru queue and “spending too long” finishing a £4 box of chicken in Weymouth, Dorset
A KFC customer has been fined £60 after waiting in a busy drive-through queue for a £4 box of chicken.
Andrew Watson was stunned when the fine landed on his doormat, which threatened to increase to £100 if unpaid after 14 days.
He visited his local KFC in Weymouth, Dorset last month with his girlfriend and joined a long line of cars at the drive-through.
When the pair finally got their meal, they settled down in a parking bay to enjoy it, unaware they were being eyed by an automatic number plate-tracking camera.
The letter that came through Mr Watson’s door informed him he had exceeded the 90-minute limit which began from the moment he entered the car park.
Attached to the letter were images of his Suzuki entering and leaving the car park, showing they had spent one hour 53 minutes on site.
Mr Watson tried to appeal the charge but was forced to pay up, saying he felt “defeated.”
He said: “We spent a long time waiting in the queue. My girlfriend and I then parked in the car park to eat our food.
“She does have a medical condition that means she is unable to eat quickly but there’s no way we would have taken 90 minutes to sit and eat a few pieces of chicken.
“A few days later I received a letter in the post saying we had stayed in the car park longer than 90 minutes.
“You have 14 days from the date of issue to pay a £60 fine before it goes up to £100. At this point there were only nine days left.
“When I rang and spoke to Weymouth KFC they said there’s nothing they can do about it because it’s a third party company – but they also said they were only able to revoke three parking fines each month and that they had already reached that limit.
“Even if they cancel it, after the way they’ve handled things I won’t be using KFC in Weymouth ever again as I don’t want to risk being landed with a £60 fine for waiting at the drive-through for £4 chicken.
“The way the letter looks, it does look fairly official – the fact they’re called Civil Enforcement is quite intimidating.
“I think a lot of people will be scared straight away and end up paying the fine as soon as they get the letter.”
Responding to Mr Watson’s concerns, a spokesperson for Civil Enforcement LTD, the private company which issued the fine, said: “We were instructed to carry out enforcement at this site, in accordance with the requirements set out by the local KFC, which was experiencing a frequent lack of available parking spaces.
“Landlords must have the right to protect their land. Systems such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition have been designed to make parking easier and more efficient, not as a hindrance.
“We are proud to be audited by both the DVLA and BPA as well as being an approved operator of the BPA. We rank number one in recent industry process performance statistics, as we have on many occasions.
“In this case, the driver parked in excess of the maximum stay allowance and the ticket was therefore correctly issued. It is unfortunate that the driver did not make their situation known in the store – as issuing a fine could have been avoided.
“Drive through lanes are part of the car park and both them and the car park itself has to be kept free and available through rotation at all times for the benefit and fair use of all customers.
“The driver concerned claims they entered the car park, ordered food and ate in the car. They remained on the fast food car park for 1hr and 53 minutes ignoring all signage stating the maximum permissible stay duration.”
KFC said it will investigate Mr Watson’s claims.